Fines Triple for School Holiday Breaks

Heart's got hold of figures showing more fines are being given out for families going on holiday during the school term without permission.

The £50 fixed penalty notices tripled from just over 200 to at least 600 in the last three years in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

Parents who want to pull their children out of classes have to get permission from the school, if the request is denied and the leave is still taken, the case gets passed onto the local authority.

A £50 pound fine is then given to each parent per child, which has to be paid in 28 days.

Hundreds of pounds can be saved by families missing the peak travel times during summer holidays.

But some schools do say yes. Richard, a builder from Caversham, says his sons' school is understanding about his job.

"It's just impossible for me to get time off during that period - so to pull the boys out of school for a week in September maybe November is ideal for me."

He reckons they saved about £300 on their holiday last year. The children were also given homework to do during their week-long break.

Some councils like Reading say they use the money from the fines to contribute to the cost of taking legal action to make sure children attend school.

Oxfordshire says it covers the cost of dishing out the fines to parents while West Berkshire say it goes towards printing of leaflets warning parents about getting fined and producing their Anti-Bullying newsletter.

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